As U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine arrive at training centers in the United States and Europe, Kyiv’s allies hope the modern aircraft can push Russian planes farther from the frontlines, target radar transmitters more effectively and hunt down more cruise missiles.

Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhnyi said in November that F-16s will be "less helpful" now than they would have been a year ago because Russia has had time to improve its air defenses.

But they will help address a problem that has persisted from the start of the invasion in February 2022: Russia’s more modern combat aircraft have been difficult for Ukraine’s military to counter with its own aging fighters.